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  • Larry Haftl
    ... where it is ... one is ... How I missed that I ll never know, but it is fixed now. And yes, it is empty at the moment waiting for someone to fill it with
    Message 1 of 3 , Nov 8, 2002
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      Justin wrote:

      > Larry, I had difficulty in finding this section. Now I have seen
      where it is
      > listed - on the home page. But on the other pages (eg images page,
      > philosophy page etc) at the top, where the pages are listed, this
      one is
      > absent. Now that I've found it, it appears to be empty.

      How I missed that I'll never know, but it is fixed now. And yes,
      it is empty at the moment waiting for someone to fill it with information.


      > In the hope of my being able to learn from responses to what I'm
      about to
      > say, may I play (from an uneducated perspective) devil's advocate:

      Go for it Justin. I love dialogs like this…

      > "ultimate control over what will or will not grow" - The permaculture
      people
      > who I have talked with, all tell me about the fundamental importance
      of
      > learning from nature. They emphasise working as much as possible with
      > nature, and understand that they do not have "ultimate control
      over what
      > will or will not grow". An example could be in their design. They
      talk of
      > designing the layout of the garden or whatever. Then they talk
      of whatching,
      > seeing what happens, and working with the changes. Rather than
      sticking
      > ridgedly to their original plan, they adapt there ideas in accordance
      with
      > what nature has manifested.

      I think what they are saying is great. Makes sense. It's what they
      do that I have a problem with. When it comes to growing annuals,
      every Permaculture document I found that talks about that promotes
      tilling and composting. Not just once, but every year. Biointensive,
      Biodynamic, and Organic Gardening all do the same.

      > "subserviant to the human's will" - on the other hand, of course,
      these
      > peole I have talked with are trying to control "what will or will
      not grow",
      > and do have the will to have nature work for them. But is this
      not true for
      > Fukuoka? As you have said, he was a comercial farmer! Do you suppose
      that it
      > was the "will of nature" to manifest a rice field? If so, why did
      it not do
      > it by itself? Was it not in fact Mr. Fukuoka applying his will
      upon nature,
      > that brought about those fields of grain.

      If you don't tell me what you want, how am I to know what to give
      you? And if you don't tell me, then as far as I know it's OK to give
      you anything I have or want to even though none of it is really what
      you want or need. There is a big difference between telling someone
      what you want them to give you and telling them what they must give
      you. The first is a collaboration, the second is a domination. Fukuoka
      uses collaboration, all of the other methods, as far as I can tell,
      use domination.

      > Was it "human centred" or "nature centred"?

      The first is dominating, the second collaborative.

      > If we look at the products - grain and fruit, to sell in the markets
      - I
      > would say that it was human centred. If we look at the methods,
      we could say
      > that it is a manipulation of nature - flooding the fields to kill
      the weeds,
      > applying straw mulch, getting chickens to shit on the straw for the
      > necessary chemical decomposition to take place, diging the slopes
      to create
      > terraces for the orchard, cutting down trees for those terraces,
      applying
      > machine oil emulsion on the trees to control insects - I think
      these are all
      > well thought out ways of controlling nature.

      To me, that machine oil emulsion thing is another synthetic poison,
      and there is no way I could consider that as "well thought out".


      But as for the rest, I think it depends… putting chickens on straw
      so that their crap, in combination with natural processes, seems
      very collaborative to me, not dominating. Adding human-engineered
      concoctions to the chicken manure and straw the way Biodynamic and
      Nature Farming methods do in order to produce something faster or
      more concentrated than natural processes can do seems more dominating
      than collaborative.

      If you cut down the trees, terrace the slope and then remove the
      tree and plant material, thus circumventing and preventing the natural
      cycle of decay and decomposition, then that, to me, is domination.
      But if you bury all that tree and plant material right where it
      was and thereby mimic and promote, albeit in an accellerated way,
      the natural process of decay and decompostion, then that, to me
      seems collaborative rather than dominating. The key here seems to
      be what is happening to the soil. In the dominating scenario you
      are robbing the soil of the natural nutrients, but in the collaborating
      scenario you are helping the soil retain its natural character.

      Using your criteria, slavery is a "well thought out way of controlling".
      Any system that uses domination as its underlying methodology creates
      the seeds of its own destruction and is not something I would call
      "well thought out". It may function for a while, but eventually it
      will crash, and it inevitably causes great pain along the way.

      > Some people could use the word "subservient".
      > But I think that word brings dark conotations, doesn't it.

      Sure does, and for good reason.

      > I think when we
      > look at the motivation, we would not be comfortable using that word
      > "subservient".
      I would if we are applying it to the manner in which natural processes
      are usually treated by humans. Goes back to the domination versus
      collaboration thing.

      > The motivation behind what Fukuoka was doing, I think, is
      > important. I think he has said, the techniques themselves are not
      the most
      > important things. He talks about a personal transformation be importnt,

      > doesn't he.

      The best single thing I've seen written by or about Fukuoka is the
      Plowboy interview we have posted on the website. In it he clearly
      articulated that he is talking about using a collaborative relationship
      with nature on two different levels. One is the farming level, where
      techniques are critical, and the second is the human development
      level, where farming is nothing more than a useful tool. There are
      other tools you could use to develop as a human being, and our development
      and perfection as human beings should be our highest goal, but no
      tools will work if we do not use the techniques of collaboration
      with nature rather than domination of nature.


      > One of my
      > permaculture friends up in Scotland bought some land, which was
      said to be
      > totally of no agricultural value. He likes walking around, looking
      at all
      > the different plants growing there, seeing such variety. He planed,
      among
      > other things, some willow. He was told it would never grow up there
      in
      > Scotland. He now has lots of willow, and makes all kinds of things
      out of
      > it.

      Sounds like he has developed a collaborative relationship with natural
      processes.

      > Robert Hart talked about how England is naturally woodland. He
      said, farmers
      > are always fighting against woodland. That means, every field is
      trying to
      > revert back to being a wood. So Robert thought it is easier to make a
      > woodland garden. If trees want to grow, lwt them grow. Of course,
      he wanted
      > to be able to eat as I'm sure Fukuoka-san likes to eat also. So
      he helped
      > food producing trees to grow, and shrubs and so on.

      Sounds like he could have had a collaborative relationship also.


      > Also, we have to think of what Our intensions are.

      No, we have to think of what kind of relationship with nature and
      natural proecesses we are in. It is possible to do great harm with
      the best of intentions. If you can't think of any examples of this
      I'll be glad to provide some.

      > What does natural farming
      > mean for us? If we have some feeling or experience of the
      > interconnectedness/interdependance of everything, then what consequence
      does
      > that have?

      Actions (or inactions might be driven by feelings, but consequences
      are the result of actions (or inactions), not of feelings.

      > It is not a different topic to think about, for
      > example, renewable energy.

      Yes it is. It may have some relationship to farming, but then so
      does electing government representatives, deep sea fishing, watching
      TV, and shooting craps in Las Vegas. All of those activities are
      connected in one or more ways, but they are all different topics.
      If your point was to say that everything is connected in some way
      to everyting else, then I would agree with you. If your point was
      that because everything is connected we should include information
      about all of it on the website, then I don’t. It's a matter of focus
      and logistics. We could create a website with hundreds of pages covering
      just a fraction of the topics that have some sort of relationship
      to each other and, however tenuous, to natural farming. But if we
      did then the fundamental points of Fukuoka's methods and principles
      would be lost, or at the very least buried, in all the noise and
      distractions. If we limited the information, in this case links,
      to to just those that are coherent with or support Fukuoka's methods
      and principles then we still wind up with a LOT of links.


      > >One last point: Any of those links we might post are already available,

      > >along with thousands more, to anyone who knows how to type a keyword
      > >into any search engine. At most, all we would be doing by posting
      > >those types of links is making it a bit more convenient for visitors
      > >to the Fukuoka site to leave the site for essentially unrelated
      sites.
      >
      > I must disagree here. For me the situation is fundamentally different,
      and
      > that is why I feel it as being so important. The point is, you
      can only
      > search for something if you know what you are looking for. I never
      found
      > Fukuoka because I didn't know to look. I am very greatful for being
      > introduced to his wok by my dear friend Edward. That was my point
      in giving
      > the Amazon analogy. "poeple that bought this book also bought/recommend.
      ."
      > I am being introduced to something new, which could be the thing
      I was
      > always wanting.
      >
      > Secondly (sorry to go on), had somebody in the street mentioned to me
      > Fukuoka, I may have never bothered to follow it up. But it was
      recommended
      > by Edward. That's why I trusted it.
      > A search churns out so much stuff. I rather go on recommendations.

      You make an excellent case for scattering breadcrumb trails all over
      the internet from "trusted" sites that would lead people to the Fukuoka
      site. At the same time you provide support for my argument against
      putting a lot of essentially unrelated (category three) links.

      Many people seek out "peak" experiences - sampling this and that
      to get a taste of the essence of something and then moving on to
      the next thing. A few drink deeply and fully from only one, or perhaps
      only a very few wells. Which do you think has the better chance of
      truly developing as a human being?

      BTW, most of the really useful stuff I've ever found was found while
      I was searching for something else usually less important. Things
      usually come to you when you need them, not necessarily when you
      are actually looking for them. The trick is to be able to recognize
      when you stumble into something really useful or important when all
      you have is a brief glimmer. -- Larry Haftl, Philosophy of Life 101
      :)


      Larry Haftl
      larry@...
      http://larryhaftl.com/fukuoka
      http://FukuokaNaturalFarming.org
    • Michael Worham
      Dear Larry and Justin, I found this debate to be very interesting, and you ve touched on what we have to do as farmers in nature. It also forces us to
      Message 2 of 3 , Nov 8, 2002
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        Dear Larry and Justin,

        I found this debate to be very interesting, and you've
        touched on what we have to do as "farmers" in nature.
        It also forces us to examine what we do, how we do it,
        and why. There were a couple of things that I thought
        needed clarifying from a Permaculture perspective, at
        least as far as I was taught it! One of the core
        technical principles that Fukuoka raises regards
        whether or not we till or turn the soil. I think you
        will find that Permaculturalists advocate a similar
        strategy. However, where they may differ would be
        whether we "work" the soil, ie use a tool to perform a
        change in the physical structure of the soil.
        Permaculture sometimes advocates aeration of the soil
        using a tool (similar to an inverted "T" in
        cross-section), that opens a thin channel or channels
        whereby air can enter and aid soil processes. But this
        technique does not "turn" the soil - ie invert or
        disturb soil layers or horizons. This technique can be
        used two or three times at varying depths, depending
        on the condition of the soil and is often, but not
        exclusively, used where soils have been compacted by
        machines, animals or other reasons thereby leaving us
        with a hard-pan etc.

        This use of a "technique" sets Permaculture apart from
        Fukuoka, as do others such as the use of prepared
        compost. But for me, when we utilise or discard a
        technique, this has to do more with a personal choice
        than whether we feel that it is "close to nature" or
        not. It is for this reason that you prefer not to use
        machine oil on trees against bugs. Again it is a
        question of degrees. In a way Fukuoka creates a
        prepared compost by scattering straw and chicken dung
        in a way similar to the "lasagne" method of
        compost-mulch. For me, if we use natural material in a
        way that mimics nature to maintain or hopefully
        increase soil fertility to a sustainable level, that
        can set up a dynamic whereby nature can give us little
        surprises as the micro-environment is created and
        sucession kicks in. Fukuoka's straw mulch method
        closer resembles the surface conditions found in
        nature, and all the organic material deposited within.

        This all leads back to how or why we make our personal
        definitions. Whether something is nature-centered or
        human-centered is a matter of degree, and again,
        invariably "determined" by ourselves. The point is to
        use your intuition as to whether something is right or
        not for you and your environment, and to what extent
        you manipulate that environment. I would say that as
        soon as you manipulate the environment you become a
        farmer - from that point you determine your level of
        involvement. Wu-Wei, as I understand it, would imply
        non-farming or non-manipulation. This is some sort of
        equivalent to gathering societies where we just take
        what nature gives us. Hunter-gathering, on the other
        hand implies the use of tools, and so one becomes a
        farmer again, or at least somewhere in between.

        So when we try to classify whether one particular
        farming system is "natural farming" or not, first we
        have to define what natural farming is. We try to
        create limits and boundaries, so we can define that as
        a body of knowledge, much like the decisions being
        made to create the website. In itself we try to
        scientifically label or classify, but by doing so we
        tend to blinker off that which
        is-similar-but-not-quite natural farming. Permaculture
        first maps the site, identify energy flows, existing
        resources, and "problems", before going on to a stage
        of contemplation, which should ideally be for as long
        as possible before any action is taken. I read
        somewhere that Permaculture is 90% contemplation, 10%
        action and I beleive that to be so. The land should be
        disturbed as little as possible, but encouraged to
        revert to a more natural state through a variety of
        techniques and with the minimum of energy and effort,
        by using our knowledge resources, and techniques to
        best effect. Fukuoka buries trees to speed-up
        decomposition and initiate a process in situ rather
        than use an prepared compost. Biodynamics uses
        prepared composts with natural additives to speed-up
        the process, and Permaculture uses the technique that
        is most appropriate from an energy-saving perspective,
        but speed is welcomed!

        Again its a question of perspective. Each circumstance
        offers new possibilities, and new "systems" are
        created according to the way each of us farms. Instead
        of trying to define, I think what is important is
        re-building Earth's damaged soils as rapidly as
        possible, using resources found in nature, and with as
        little energy as possible. We should never forget that
        we don't have the luxury of time while industrial
        monocultures are still the "dominant" farming
        practice. So much better to take what we find to be
        most useful, be open-minded, and above all experiment.
        Let nature teach us what she likes best!

        Good luck with the website, and, if you like it - link
        it!

        Cheers

        Mick



        __________________________________________________
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      • Justin .
        ... [..] ... This is an interesting statement Larry. How might we judge if people are asking or telling (or in your words telling someone what you want
        Message 3 of 3 , Nov 9, 2002
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          >From: Larry Haftl <larry@...>
          [..]

          > > "subserviant to the human's will" - on the other hand, of course,
          >these
          > > peole I have talked with are trying to control "what will or will
          >not grow",
          > > and do have the will to have nature work for them. But is this
          >not true for
          > > Fukuoka? As you have said, he was a comercial farmer! Do you suppose
          >that it
          > > was the "will of nature" to manifest a rice field? If so, why did
          >it not do
          > > it by itself? Was it not in fact Mr. Fukuoka applying his will
          >upon nature,
          > > that brought about those fields of grain.
          >
          >If you don't tell me what you want, how am I to know what to give
          >you? And if you don't tell me, then as far as I know it's OK to give
          >you anything I have or want to even though none of it is really what
          >you want or need. There is a big difference between telling someone
          >what you want them to give you and telling them what they must give
          >you. The first is a collaboration, the second is a domination. Fukuoka
          >uses collaboration, all of the other methods, as far as I can tell,
          >use domination.


          This is an interesting statement Larry. How might we judge if people are
          "asking" or "telling" (or in your words "telling someone what you want them
          to give you and telling them what they must give you")? If the person were
          directing their request to me, I might find it relatively easy to jugde what
          attitude it is with which they are asking. And it is about attitude, isn't
          it? An attitude of respectful asking, or arrogant demanding - if I am
          reading you right.
          I would be interested in your method for judging these other methods.


          > > Was it "human centred" or "nature centred"?
          >
          >The first is dominating, the second collaborative.
          >
          > > If we look at the products - grain and fruit, to sell in the markets
          >- I
          > > would say that it was human centred. If we look at the methods,
          >we could say
          > > that it is a manipulation of nature - flooding the fields to kill
          >the weeds,
          > > applying straw mulch, getting chickens to shit on the straw for the
          > > necessary chemical decomposition to take place, diging the slopes
          >to create
          > > terraces for the orchard, cutting down trees for those terraces,
          >applying
          > > machine oil emulsion on the trees to control insects - I think
          >these are all
          > > well thought out ways of controlling nature.
          >
          >To me, that machine oil emulsion thing is another synthetic poison,
          >and there is no way I could consider that as "well thought out".


          Larry, did you realize that it was Fukuoka whom I was talking about? The use
          of machine oil emulsion is Fukuoka's technique (see One Straw Revolution).
          And that is an interesting point, isn't it. Even Fukuoka uses "synthetic
          poison". This is a point we could bare in mind when we are considering how
          strict to be when including/excluding things such as links.

          I don't know what other people think of this technique. I am sure that it
          would have been well thought out - I get that feeling from all of Fukuoka's
          work. He is a very systematic man, which I presume he gets from his rigorous
          scientific background. I reckon he would rather have not needed to use the
          oil. But he has to keep good yields, and protect his crops. I take this as
          his favoured compromise. We could relate this to what Mick has said:
          "Permaculture sometimes advocates aeration of the soil using a tool (similar
          to an inverted "T" in cross-section), that opens a thin channel or channels
          whereby air can enter and aid soil processes"[...]"used where soils have
          been compacted by machines, animals or other reasons thereby leaving us with
          a hard-pan etc." So it seems that they don't want to disturb the at all. But
          sometimes feel they have to compromise that wish depending on the
          circumstances.


          >But as for the rest, I think it depends� putting chickens on straw
          >so that their crap, in combination with natural processes, seems
          >very collaborative to me, not dominating. Adding human-engineered
          >concoctions to the chicken manure and straw the way Biodynamic and
          >Nature Farming methods do in order to produce something faster or
          >more concentrated than natural processes can do seems more dominating
          >than collaborative.

          Is this abou EM? I don't know much about that, but reading about it didn't
          make me feel too inspired. I agree, that this may not be compatable with our
          direction. On the one hand, it sounds analogous to taking probiotic medicine
          such as acidophilus. That is great if your intestinal floura has been
          damaged by, for example, excessive western medicines. So I would not rule
          out the use of EM. Maybe it can be useful to rehabilitate overmedicated
          (fertiliser etc) land? But if the idea is to become dependant on it, I am
          not for it. Just as I am not for dependancy on human probiotics. Better to
          have a good diet to create and sustain a healthy environment in which the
          floura can naturally flourish (good soil structure, mulch etc).


          >If you cut down the trees, terrace the slope and then remove the
          >tree and plant material, thus circumventing and preventing the natural
          >cycle of decay and decomposition, then that, to me, is domination.
          >But if you bury all that tree and plant material right where it
          >was and thereby mimic and promote, albeit in an accellerated way,
          >the natural process of decay and decompostion, then that, to me
          >seems collaborative rather than dominating.

          The advocative Devil might say here: why not see the cutting down of natural
          trees, for the planting of a human produced (through breeding) fruit crop,
          as domination? So far as the process of natural decay and decomposition, and
          acceleration of nature being "collaborative", why not see composting as
          collaborative? Could it be that this categorisation is a subjective one?
          Mick has said "This all leads back to how or why we make our personal
          definitions. Whether something is nature-centered or human-centered is a
          matter of degree, and again,
          invariably "determined" by ourselves." Concerning the compost issue, this
          quote might be of interest: "For the backyard garden it is enough to say
          that you should grow the right vegetables at the right time in soil prepared
          by organic compost and manure." (Fukuoka, in One Straw Revolution, chapter:
          Growing Vegetables Like Wild Plants).

          [..]

          >Using your criteria, slavery is a "well thought out way of >controlling".

          Don't forget that when I used this phrase, it was Fukuoka to whom I was
          refering.

          >Any system that uses domination as its underlying methodology creates
          >the seeds of its own destruction and is not something I would call
          >"well thought out". It may function for a while, but eventually it
          >will crash, and it inevitably causes great pain along the way.

          Interestingly, Buddhism (an integral part of Fukuoka's culture and outlook)
          states that all compounded things are impermanent, and bound for distrucion.
          "It may function for a while, but eventually it will crash, and it
          inevitably causes great pain along the way" could easily be a quote of the
          Buddha himself! Of the "3 marks of things" you have covered 2 - suffering
          and impermanance - the one remaining is the lack of any inherent self, ie an
          independantly existing nature.

          [..]
          > > I think when we
          > > look at the motivation, we would not be comfortable using that word
          > > "subservient".
          >I would if we are applying it to the manner in which natural processes
          >are usually treated by humans. Goes back to the domination versus
          >collaboration thing.

          I meant in relation to Fukuoka. Sorry for confusion.

          > > The motivation behind what Fukuoka was doing, I think, is
          > > important. I think he has said, the techniques themselves are not
          >the most
          > > important things. He talks about a personal transformation be importnt,
          >
          > > doesn't he.
          >
          >The best single thing I've seen written by or about Fukuoka is the
          >Plowboy interview we have posted on the website. In it he clearly
          >articulated that he is talking about using a collaborative relationship
          >with nature on two different levels. One is the farming level, where
          >techniques are critical, and the second is the human development
          >level, where farming is nothing more than a useful tool. There are
          >other tools you could use to develop as a human being, and our development
          >and perfection as human beings should be our highest goal, but no
          >tools will work if we do not use the techniques of collaboration
          >with nature rather than domination of nature.

          Agreed. I beleive that this relates interestingly with some aspects of
          religion which might otherwise be overlooked: their is great importance in
          Christianity of being humble, and being charitable. We bow down, and
          respect. This now might be seen as gullible and out of fashion. We want to
          forget this non-scientific attitude and assert ourselves.
          Also in Buddhism, devotion is very important. Again, this could be viewed
          sceptically, and with (not undue) caution. But this relates two that 3rd
          mark - no-self. What you call "domination" is the ego-building attitude. We
          assert ourSelves, and reinforce our concepts of ourselves as having inherant
          existance. This gives us the dilema of "us versus nature" and the whole
          habitual attitude of seeing ourselves as seperate from "other" - from
          nature. Devotion, compassion, humbleness, charity, all help to break down
          these barriers. It works on a very deep level. Gradually the interconnected
          nature of reality is able to reveal itself to us. We have a chance to
          directly experience the "truth", which was indeed never absent. In this
          light, I suppose that there is no domination - only collaboration.


          > > One of my
          > > permaculture friends up in Scotland bought some land, which was
          >said to be
          > > totally of no agricultural value. He likes walking around, looking
          >at all
          > > the different plants growing there, seeing such variety. He planed,
          >among
          > > other things, some willow. He was told it would never grow up there
          >in
          > > Scotland. He now has lots of willow, and makes all kinds of things
          >out of
          > > it.
          >
          >Sounds like he has developed a collaborative relationship with natural
          >processes.
          >
          > > Robert Hart talked about how England is naturally woodland. He
          >said, farmers
          > > are always fighting against woodland. That means, every field is
          >trying to
          > > revert back to being a wood. So Robert thought it is easier to make a
          > > woodland garden. If trees want to grow, lwt them grow. Of course,
          >he wanted
          > > to be able to eat as I'm sure Fukuoka-san likes to eat also. So
          >he helped
          > > food producing trees to grow, and shrubs and so on.
          >
          >Sounds like he could have had a collaborative relationship also.

          So Larry, perhaps your statement:
          "Fukuoka uses collaboration, all of the other methods, as far as I can tell,
          use domination." could have been a little too harsh.



          > > Also, we have to think of what Our intensions are.
          >
          >No, we have to think of what kind of relationship with nature and
          >natural proecesses we are in. It is possible to do great harm with
          >the best of intentions. If you can't think of any examples of this
          >I'll be glad to provide some.

          Yes I totally agree. As they say in Buddhism (no, I'm not a fanatic! Just
          like the ideas - very practicle) compassion must go hand in hand with
          wisdom.
          But I think what I meant to suggest when questioning our intention was, what
          do we intend? Ie, why are we interested in natural farming? Why are we doing
          this? Actually, I would be interested to hear answers to this from the whole
          list. Myself - I want to see a sustainable world which pollutes as little as
          possible, a world which respects all life and lives in as much an harmonious
          way as possible, with each other and with other species, with respect and
          understanding. That is why for me, it makes sense to have links which are
          connected with that. For me, it is all one category. For a person whose
          intension is, for example, to have a world with natural soil structure, then
          links only connected to that would fall into their category. And so on. (of
          course, we all have other interests - music and so on. I'm not talking about
          that. But I am talking about the subjectivity of, what lyes in This
          category.)


          > > What does natural farming
          > > mean for us? If we have some feeling or experience of the
          > > interconnectedness/interdependance of everything, then what consequence
          >does
          > > that have?
          >
          >Actions (or inactions might be driven by feelings, but consequences
          >are the result of actions (or inactions), not of feelings.


          Not meaning to split hairs, but how about this: If we say that actions are
          driven by feeling, then actions can be seen as the result of feelings. If
          consequences are the result of actions, it follows that their root cause is
          feelings. Then is it possible to claim that consequences are not the result
          of feeling?
          I beleive that our motivations are very important indeed. Our mind lies at
          the root of every action. And an example could be Fukuoka. It was his
          feelings, his mind, that led him to develop this natural farming in the
          first place. It was his experience of the interconnected nature of reality
          that changed his whole outlook, and thus changed his actions. I my meaning
          was, if we are to embrace that view, what are the consequences? It is that
          view which is the very root of natural farming. So other branches from that
          root are, for me, the same topic.


          > > It is not a different topic to think about, for
          > > example, renewable energy.
          >
          >Yes it is. It may have some relationship to farming, but then so
          >does electing government representatives, deep sea fishing, watching
          >TV, and shooting craps in Las Vegas.

          It was not the relationship to farming that I was refering to. It was the
          root, the basis, of natural farming. Fukuoka, so it seems, applied his
          experiencial understanding to farming, as his family owned a farm. But he
          has also been outspoken on issues such as polution and so on.


          >All of those activities are
          >connected in one or more ways, but they are all different topics.
          >If your point was to say that everything is connected in some way
          >to everyting else, then I would agree with you.

          Not my point. Again, I am coming from my subjective perspective of what
          falls in this category, and what doesn't. Basically, I mean that those
          things which are connected to this are: practical solutions to contemporary
          problems, using methods which are sustainable, holistic, "colaborative" -
          respecting nature and working with the understanding that we are part of a
          complex system.


          [..]It's a matter of focus
          >and logistics. We could create a website with hundreds of pages covering
          >just a fraction of the topics that have some sort of relationship
          >to each other and, however tenuous, to natural farming.

          Larry, I agree. I think that burrying Fukuokas articles amogst articles
          about saving whales and shortbread recipes is definately out. But I don't
          think a comprehensive links page would drown the contents of the website.

          >But if we
          >did then the fundamental points of Fukuoka's methods and principles
          >would be lost, or at the very least buried, in all the noise and
          >distractions. If we limited the information, in this case links,
          >to to just those that are coherent with or support Fukuoka's methods
          >and principles then we still wind up with a LOT of links.


          Yes, I am not in disagreement. But then there is the great debate of what is
          and what is not coherent.

          [..]
          >You make an excellent case for scattering breadcrumb trails all over
          >the internet from "trusted" sites that would lead people to the Fukuoka
          >site. At the same time you provide support for my argument against
          >putting a lot of essentially unrelated (category three) links.
          >
          >Many people seek out "peak" experiences - sampling this and that
          >to get a taste of the essence of something and then moving on to
          >the next thing. A few drink deeply and fully from only one, or perhaps
          >only a very few wells. Which do you think has the better chance of
          >truly developing as a human being?

          I'm with you Larry. But I don't think that constricting the links page to
          one well (even though that well is a great one) will change our horse's
          ways. Or was that an old dog.


          >BTW, most of the really useful stuff I've ever found was found while
          >I was searching for something else usually less important. Things
          >usually come to you when you need them, not necessarily when you
          >are actually looking for them.

          That was my point Larry. That's why they may not find them on a search, but
          might find them on the links page!

          (By the way, in case anyone is wondering, this is not a serious row over
          links. It is great fun to have an excuse to debate, isn't it!)

          Very best of wishes,
          Justin.


          >The trick is to be able to recognize
          >when you stumble into something really useful or important when all
          >you have is a brief glimmer

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